Skull Wars: Kennewick Man, Archaeology, and the Battle for Native American Identity

By David Hurst Thomas | Go to book overview

END NOTES

PROLOGUE (PAGES XVII-XXXIX)

Anyone trying to make sense of the flap over Kennewick Man--the touchstone of this book--will be frustrated by the lack of solid scientific description. I've had little choice but to rely on popular media coverage, and since the role of the American press is one of the themes (problems, if you will) addressed here, the situation is hardly ideal. I have tried, with mixed success, to verify the accuracy of statements appearing in the media. Specifically, I have relied most heavily on information supplied on the Umatilla Web Page (especially Minthorn, 1996), on Chatters' publications on Kennewick ( 1997, 1998, 1999), and published updates from others directly involved in the lawsuit (e.g., Schneider 1998, 1999). I have also conducted my own interviews with several of the participants. But by and large, I've been forced to rely on news accounts, including the 60 Minutes transcript, various web pages on the subject (including those of the Tri-City Herald [www.tri-cityherald.com/bones] and The Oregonian [www.oregonlive.com/special/issues/ kennewick.html]), plus several high-profile articles such as those by Preston ( 1997b), Miller ( 1997), Lasswell ( 1999), Hastings ( 1997), Egan ( 1996), Rensberger ( 1997), Henderson ( 1997, 1998a, 1998b).

When this manuscript was completed, Judge Jelderks had not yet issued his final decision on the Kennewick matter. A number of reports and position papers have been issued by all sides, and I have made no attempt to reiterate all possible arguments and interpretations. Rather, I have tried only to emphasize the core of the conflict; a complete, objective analysis of the conflict is premature at this writing, and beyond the present scope. The reader seeking more detail should consult technical publications available from the Corps of Engineers and the Department of the Interior (esp. www.cr.nps.gov/aad/Kennewick).

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